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10 Secrets For Great Communication

  1. People Want You To Be Interesting
    Though it may be hard to believe sometimes, it’s true:  people want you to be interesting.  It’s a popular misconception that others want to see you fail (it’s also a form of emotional quicksand).
  2. Fear Is Like Excitement And It Can Be Harnessed
    Some professional public speakers and performers feel fear before and during every presentation - they’ve just learned how to harness that energy to serve them.
  3. Relaxation Is A Skill
    Relaxation must be practiced, just like everything else, if you want to reap the benefits.  The time it takes to “center” yourself shortens dramatically once your body has been properly trained.
  4. Criticism Doesn't Have To Hurt
    No successful person (success-by-birth excluded) has ever reached full potential without having to take some criticism.  Knowledge is power:  Once you know something needs work, you can begin making improvements.  If you don’t know, you can’t grow.
  5. Communication Is A Gift
    The more you give, the more you get.  When you approach communication as something that you’re giving to others, as opposed to something to which you are being subjected, self-consciousness begins to vanish and you appear more confident (because you are.)
  6. Rehearsal Required
    A great performance is one where the work has been done ahead of time.  No one wants to see a play where the actors are grappling with the script after the curtain goes up.  Likewise, it’s a huge mistake to work out your speech while you’re giving it.  Rehearsal is the time to work it out.  Skip this step at your peril!
  7. What's The Angle?
    Point of view is everything.  No matter the topic, always have one.  It will make you more interesting to listen to and it will be more enjoyable for you – and enjoyment is contagious.  Besides, if they wanted cold hard facts, they’d just read about it.
  8. Find The Hook
    Find the “hook.”  Something about what you're saying must interest you or you will not be interesting to your listeners.  If you look carefully, you will always find something.
  9. Be Human
    Don’t deny yourself basic human needs.  So many speakers suffer needlessly. If you’re thirsty, drink some water.  People will wait.  If you need your glasses, pause to put them on.  Think ahead and use the restroom just before you have to speak.  Few things are more distracting and uncomfortable than watching someone try to work around these basic needs.
  10. Repeat After Me, "I Don't Know."
    In a Q & A situation, if you really do not know the answer, say so.  Commend the asker for the quality of the question, tell them you are intrigued by it, and let them know you’ll look into it and get back to them.  Then be sure you do.  This is by far the more dignified way to respond than to try to make something up.  People can generally tell when you’re faking it and that can destroy the credibility of all you said before.
  • Stephanie offers a deeper view into these 10 Secrets and more on her Blog
    and is in the process of expanding this list into an upcoming publication.
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